Lets Cooperate!

Cooperatives work differently from other organizations by allowing smaller participants to pool resources and expertise to increase their presence in the market. Some advantages of this include more diverse and plentiful products and inclusion of smaller farmers. Since there are over 900 coffee producers, they can each put the careful work into their specific crop to ensure quality. If 1 large farm produced the same quantity, each plant wouldn’t be cared for as well. This care also ensures the traceability of the coffee. Disadvantages include managing such many suppliers and maintaining quality control. The coop has to schedule payments to farmers in increments to serve as a salary that they obtain in pieces throughout the year, so they do not need to budget as intensity. They need to provide supplies and expertise to all of the farms who need it. It is clear that a lot is happening on the management end of things.

The community of Santa Maria de Dota would be different without a cooperative. This is because a lot of the smaller farmers would be out-competed by the bigger farms. The farmers would have to find work somewhere else, possibly working under one manager in a big farm. This might sacrifice the quality of the coffee. In smaller communities like this one, it is beneficial for everyone to work together to ensure the best quality in the product they produce.

Café Privilegios is particularly important for the community. Lots of things are shaped by this industry. As we saw in the coffee tasting presentation, the high schools are specially designed to train students for one part of the industry, may it be farming, managing, biology, manufacturing, coffee tasting, or being a barista, the high school prepares students for the trade. They are certified professional by the time they graduate. This is because the Café works with the high school curriculum. The farming community is very conscientious of the environment and its impact. We can see this by their carbon neutral certification. This adds to the beauty and productivity of the area. Café Privilegios is clearly a keystone to this productive community.

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